Chester – England
DAY 7 – Many of Britain’s main towns and cities were established by the Romans and Chester is one of them. The main streets are now lined with timber buildings, including the Chester Rows. With their two levels of shops and upper gallery the Rows were built in the traditional black and white ‘magpie’ style, and contain a wide range of shops selling goods from antiques to high fashion. They pre-empt today’s multi-storey shops by several centuries.
First built in the 13th and 14th centuries, the decorative timber-work that we see today are mostly 19th century. The Rows are at their most varied and attractive where Eastgate Street meets Bridge Street. See this elaborate Victorian Eastgate Clock, said to be the most photographed clock in Britain after Big Ben. Chester was established as a camp in AD79 to defend fertile land near the River.
Chester is said to have the most complete city walls in Britain. It dates back to Roman times when the city was founded as the fortress of Deva. The walls were refortified throughout Chester’s history and they now offer interesting and picturesques views of the city. The wall is very comfortable to walk on and there are a number of interpretation plaques, which orientate you and highlight its fascinating history. Just in case you are a little concerned about the time it takes, the wall’s circuit is 3 km long and can be completed at a gentle stroll in an hour and a half. However, if you’re interested in reading the histories and taking snaps, then I would allow a little more time.